Alongside his brother Pusha T, Gene “No Malice” Thornton embodied coke rap in its most glorious articulation. Together as Clipse, both MCs approached their rhymes like surgeons on the operating table, but now that No Malice has gone solo and turned to Christianity for his subject matter, we’d be remiss to not ask ourselves: What happened to that boy?
In the clip below, No Malice (formerly just “Malice“) discusses how the loss of inner-circle friends and the 32-year prison sentence of his former manager Anthony Gonzalez strongly impacted his life. Despite “attacking music from different angles,” he and Pusha have managed to make a song together that allows him carry the new-found message that he’s trying to communicate to people but is still “reminiscent of the Clipse.” Featured on his new album Hear Ye Him – released 8/18 in honor of Romans 8:18 and the rapper’s birthday – “Shame The Devil” is a powerful pseudo reunion for the former duo, one that their rabid fan base would do almost anything to see continue.
And there’s hope. Not only did No Malice elaborate on the impetus of his changing gears from glorifying bars laced with cocaine to bars that repentantly summon faith in God in our interview, but he also discussed looking forward to working with Pusha again in the future- an option he’s been avoiding in the press until recently. Performing their old songs might be “impossible” for him to execute due to the troubling topics the group once covered, but crafting new songs where both brothers’ messages can coexist? He’d “love” to see it happen. Watch!
But the conversation didn’t end there.
How does No Malice feel about religious themes being trendy right now? From J. Cole’s Born Sinner and Kanye’s Yeezus to career 180s from Katy Perry, Ma$e and Michelle Williams, we asked the rapper with a minister’s delivery to weigh in. See what he had to say.
In the clip below, No Malice speaks on Katy Perry’s shift from a Pentecostal upbringing to pop stardom, Ma$e’s “call from God” retirement and comeback, and Michelle Williams’ gospel endeavors post-Destiny’s Child. Keep reading to hear his thoughts on Kanye’s blasphemous album title and find out what Rick Rubin said to him that changed his life. And for super fans who might question his sincerity on this new path or cross their fingers that he’ll rap about drugs with Pusha again, No Malice went to great lengths to explain why his passion is far from a fluke.
Don’t miss No Malice talk Yeezy, Rick Rubin, and Hear Ye Him…
Don’t miss what No Malice shared about advice Rick Rubin gave him, and his heartfelt thoughts on how being a born-again Christian has impacted his rap music.
Poking fun at himself for being out of the pop-culture loop, No Malice admits to bringing sneakers back when his son told him they weren’t cool and also reveals a conversation he had with producer Rick Rubin that helped him stop pandering to what fans wanted him and Pusha to create.
Read more about the inspiration for No Malice’s new album, Hear Ye Him, after the jump.
This last clip is for super fans only! During the course of our conversation, No Malice would very often pivot topics and discuss what he called his “truth.” An openly devout Christian, the Virginia MC repeatedly credited God for inspiring him along this recent creative journey, described what drives his new purpose, and shared stories about fans who’ve been supporting the transition.